I am expecting.

It brings hope and fear. The what- ifs run rampant from the beautiful to the horrifying. There is peace and angst. Peace that comes to fill our souls. Angst that tempts the soul to fear once again. I am expecting what has not yet been, what has been promised. Joy rises to overflowing. Heart-ache stands ready until all is secure. But love. Love shrouds over the fear, the angst, the heart-ache on the ready. Love stands with hope, peace, and joy. I am expecting.

Mary and Joseph were expecting. Elizabeth and John were too. Anna and Simeon waited in the temple day after day expecting. The wise men set off because they were expecting.

The candles are gathered. The hymn book is out. Hope. Peace. Joy. Love. We are not expecting a baby this year. My womb is empty. I am expecting the Promised One to come and fulfill His promises.

We sing night after night our Advent family hymn.

“O come, O come, Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel.”

We sing, and I expect the Christ. I expect the One born in a manger to come and ransom me once again.

I expect Him to be God with us. To make us His people in ways we are not just yet. To set us free from sins that lurk and bind. To heal the wounded. To set the captive free. I am expecting the babe born in a manger, God with us, to be with us today and tomorrow until He comes once again.

This is Advent. To be expecting. Expecting hope in God to not disappoint. Expecting peace to reign amidst our angst in these demanding days. Expecting joy to rise-up even while we mourn feeling lost in exile as sin and death taunt. Expecting love because that is the fullness of our God. He is love our God with us, our Emmanuel.

I am expecting these next forty days. He has not failed me yet. Will you expect with me?

“Rejoice, rejoice Emmanuel shall come to thee oh Israel.”